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About LandNet Americas

LandNet Americas is the Virtual Office of the Inter-Summit Property Systems Initiative (IPSI), a mechanism created by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Organization of American States (OAS) in response to mandates from the Summit of the Americas.

IPSI strives to achieve improved coordination among various donors, government agencies and civil society, defined broadly to include NGOs, private enterprises, professional associations, and so on. To do so, we sponsor activities and events that foster consensus-building through debate and information-sharing; we sponsor analyses and data gathering that will help clarify issues, identify new approaches and monitor progress; and we sponsor activities aimed at motivating civil society resources towards achieving the property registration goals of the Summit of the Americas.

In 2001, the OAS and the USAID decided to evaluate the sustainability of IPSI with the consulting agency, ECI and Chemonics International. The consultants conducted interviews with people who work on land issues and analyzed data on website usage. Their report concluded that there was a strong interest in IPSI activities and in the information that the website provides. However, to be of greater value to users, the report pointed out some changes. The most fundamental being the decentralization of content generation and management to promote involvement of the end users as well as the need to converge IPSI's efforts with the interests of multilateral development banks. These suggestions were incorporated with the development of LandNet Americas. Now, your participation will help realize these improvements.

LandNet Americas offers overarching support to the numerous on-going efforts to reform aspects of property rights systems throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This virtual office is a tool for continual dialogue, for sharing experiences and for accessing information. We post information from a diversity of sources and we encourage debate. Thus, the opinions expressed within the website do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USAID, the OAS or Cooperating Organizations.

Click on the following links for more information on our
members and cooperating organizations. For contact information please follow this link contacts
Background

The Charter of the OAS, which was signed in 1948, stipulates in Article 34 that Member States agree to devote their utmost efforts to accomplish:

“d) Modernization of rural life and reforms leading to equitable and efficient land-tenure systems, increased agricultural productivity, expanded use of land, diversification of production and improved processing and marketing systems for agricultural products; and the strengthening and expansion of the means to attain these ends.”

The Summits of the Americas Process

In 1996, property rights issues were included in the Summits of the Americas Process. Action plan of the Summit of the Americas on Sustainable Development:

“Initiative 22. Clarify, in accordance with the legal system of each country and as necessary, land tenure and property rights, including with respect to indigenous and other local community areas, and identify additional steps that may be needed to improve sustainable forest management under the various forms of land tenure, taking into account the interest of all stakeholders.”

Second Summit of the Americas, Santiago de Chile, Chile April 18-19, 1998

Property Registration Mandate from the Santiago Plan of Action

Governments will:

§Streamline and decentralize, as necessary, property registration procedures by: adopting transparent, simplified procedures for titling and registration; disseminating information regarding these procedures; utilizing, whenever feasible, state-of-the-art technologies for property geo-referencing, computer-generated mapping and computerized records storage; incorporating alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; and avoiding overlapping administrative fees for titling and registration.

§Recommend that multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions, especially the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, strengthen their financial and technical assistance programs, including information exchange regarding experiences among countries, to support simplified property registration procedures and to assure access for the poor to those systems.

§In accord with national legal frameworks, implement measures, where necessary, to protect rights accorded to indigenous populations, as well as information programs, if needed, to assure greater awareness of indigenous populations of their rights, in this respect.


Third Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada April 20-22, 2001

In April 2001, the Heads of State and Governments of the 34 States of the Western Hemisphere met in Quebec City, Canada at the Third Summit of the Americas. The leaders of the Hemisphere agreed on a Declaration and Plan of Action.

Excerpt from the Growth with Equity Mandate from the Quebec Plan of Action

Governments will:

Continue and deepen progress toward implementation of the agenda for improving property registration established at the 1998 Santiago Summit of the Americas with particular emphasis on regularizing informal property rights, in accordance with national legislation, to ensure that all valid property rights are formally recognized, that disputes are resolved, and that modern legal frameworks to legitimize property records and encourage marketable property titles are adopted; and that these actions include the formulation of institutional, political and regulatory reforms that would facilitate the use of property registration as a mechanism to enable property owners to access credit and allow commercial banks and MDBs to expand their customer base among lower income sectors; promote greater cooperation and exchange of information and technology to modernize the systems of registry and cadastre in the Hemisphere, and also request multilateral and bilateral cooperation institutions to continue supporting and strengthening, in a complementary manner, their financial and technical assistance programs.

Special Summit of the Americas, Monterrey, Mexico January 12-13, 2004

During the Special Summit of the Americas that took place January 12-13 in Monterrey, Mexico, the Heads of State gathered together to agree on a new Declaration.

Excerpt from the Declaration of Nuevo León:

We recognize that legally secure property rights are one of the essential elements for economic growth, since proof of ownership helps people to obtain loans and start businesses.
Therefore, we commit, where necessary and appropriate, to: strengthen property rights and expand the use of property as collateral, ensuring enforceable, efficient, transparent, comprehensive, and equitable rules governing property contracts; and improve or promote the related measures governing the transfer of property, property registries, the use of property as collateral, and the rights and responsibilities of debtors and creditors.
With regard to these measures, we commit to undertake concrete actions prior to the next Summit of the Americas to be held in Argentina in 2005, and to report at that time on progress achieved. We will seek to ensure that property rights benefit all people without discrimination.


Fourth Summit of the Americas, Buenos Aires, Argentina November 4-5, 2005

Growth with Employment mandate from the Plan of Action, Member States agree:

“32. To stimulate the design or strengthening of mechanisms or initiatives for access to credit by, among other measures, the fostering of the property registry and cadastre, in which legal certainty is expressed, among other means, through the verification of the title and the use of it, ensuring that the property rights benefit all people without discrimination.”

To learn more about the Summit of the Americas Follow-Up Mechanisms please visit: The Summit Implementation Review Group

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LandNet Americas is a multi-partner virtual network serving a broad community of users.
It is managed by OAS/USDE with support from USAID

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